Kailua-Kona, or simply Kona to both locals and tourists, is the main city of Hawaii’s Big Island. It used to be a quiet and modest fishing village that morphed into a bustling, attractive destination that it is today. With top notch accommodations, interesting dining options, rich culture and heritage and a bundle of world-class attractions, Kona has become the country’s most important tourist destinations.
Just fifteen minutes away from the heart of Kona is Kona International Airport that serves as the visitor’s prime gateway to this stunning city. KOA, also called Keahole Airport, has a good number of rent-a-car facilities the visitors use in getting in and around the city. Cars are definitely needed when heading to distant tourist spots, but for exploring the town, touring by foot is the best experience of all.
Kona is world-known for its golden sands and majestic beaches. Because of its clear, inviting waters, activities such as surfing, boating, diving, snorkeling, fishing and swimming are fondly done by both locals and tourists. Most of the beautiful beaches are found north of the city along Kohala Coast and among the popular ones are Spencer Beach, Hapuna Beach and Kua Bay. The flawless Kahalu’u Beach Park is the best place for fish and sea turtle watching. Note that most of the beaches in Kona are non-commercialized which means no chic restaurants and no high-class facilities–just a laid-back atmosphere and relaxing ambiance perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of the urban life.
Alii Drive is hard to miss when in Kona. This prime road is boasting of quaint shops and a good line-up of restaurants. Here, some of Hawaii’s most significant historic spots are found, including Mokuaikaua Church, Ahuena Heiau Temple and Hulihee Palace. The perfect spot for watching an incredible sunset is in Kailua Pier. And when the dark sky starts to set in, live music and bar drinks become staple along the upbeat stretch of Kailua Bay.
Because there are boundless opportunities in Kona, to witness them all in just a single day is impossible. From overnight to weekly stay, Kona has a comprehensive line-up of accommodations ready to serve the tourists. The most favorite ones are beach resorts like Kona Coast Resort, Kona Magic Sands Resort and Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa to name a few. Similarly, Kona is never short when it comes to dining options. From budgeted ones like Bongo Ben’s Island Café and L&L Hawaiian Barbecue to high-end restaurants like Island Lava Java and Fish Hopper Seafood and Steaks, there is something for every discerning food lover. Shaved ice, an all-time favorite delicacy in Hawaii, is a must-try when visiting Kona.